Ph.D., The University of Western Ontario, 2014
M.Sc., The University of Western Ontario, 2009
B.Sc., The University of Guelph, 2007
Cognitive neuroscience; Educational neuroscience; Functional neuroimaging; Reading development; Language development; Spoken word recognition; Multilingualism
My research focuses on the brain networks that support reading, spoken language processing, and attentional control. I use methodologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), EEG, and eyetracking to study how these networks overlap, diverge, and change over the course of learning. I also examine how different biological, cognitive, and environmental factors shape the connectivity of these networks. In my research, I work with numerous populations of learners, including school-age children, adolescents, and adults; individuals with reading, language, and/or attention deficits; and individuals who speak or read more than one language. As a mentor, I enjoy working with students from many different disciplines, including developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, education and learning sciences, clinical psychology, and communication sciences. Ultimately, I look forward to continuing to work with the GSU community to connect brain research with current practices in education in order to help individuals reach their learning potential.
I am currently using neuroimaging to better understand the foundation of cognitive skills in different populations of learners. For example, I recently helped develop an fMRI paradigm that simultaneously indexes the brain networks supporting reading and attentional control (Arrington, Malins, et al., 2019, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience). I am now using this paradigm to clarify the biological foundations of co-occurring reading and attentional control deficits in children.
In addition, I am using neuroimaging to gain insights into the dynamics of learning. Using an fMRI reading task, I recently discovered that a certain amount of variability in brain activity may be beneficial for reading development (Malins et al., 2018, Journal of Neuroscience). Along with collaborators at Georgia State University, I am now characterizing the biological foundations of neural variability in order to understand why children show different degrees of response to phonologically-based reading intervention.
When studying language and literacy development, I think it is important to consider the role of diverse experiences with language. I am currently working with colleagues in Beijing to study the dynamics of spoken word processing in adult native Mandarin Chinese speakers who are learning English. I am also conducting experiments to evaluate how dual language experience contributes to the brain networks that support reading development in children.
Arrington, C.N., Malins, J.G., Winter, R., Mencl, W.E., Pugh, K.R., & Morris, R. (2019). Examining individual differences in reading and attentional control networks utilizing an oddball fMRI task. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 38, 100674. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100674